Search found 315 matches

by DanD
Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:26 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"
Replies: 35
Views: 2688

Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

There are lots of outdoor security cameras in place, more every year, and some of them are well armored. Seems likely the eye of a tornado has crossed one or more already. Doesn't seem likely it would yield much of any useful information, so we may never hear of it on the news.... Almost all exteri...
by DanD
Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:22 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"
Replies: 35
Views: 2688

Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

So I’m just going to say that this comic is not cool. Anyone who tries is going to find out that drones can’t even get close given the wind speed of a tornado, and anyone who is close enough to fly a drone into a tornado is close enough to get killed easily. Just waiting for the news story. Nice jo...
by DanD
Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:39 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2066: "Ballot Selfies"
Replies: 110
Views: 7045

Re: 2066: "Ballot Selfies"

How does the US enforce secrecy for mail-in ballots? I don't think it's possible. Not a big deal so long as mail-ins are a small enough minority, but if we go 100% mail-in, the entire idea of secrecy can be tossed. We don't. We enforce secrecy on on-site voting and we restrict mail-in voting to tho...
by DanD
Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:31 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2068: "Election Night"
Replies: 28
Views: 2927

Re: 2068: "Election Night"

Not to mention amortizing the cost of transferring them to (likely) microfilm first, and then more recently digitizing and reorganizing that microfilm into online content. And this hasn't been done through public funding? A project Gutenburg or the likes? Ah, so a lot of (public? how do libarie...
by DanD
Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:48 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2068: "Election Night"
Replies: 28
Views: 2927

Re: 2068: "Election Night"

Having a hard time believing this one. I'm sure someone will pull up the Tribune pages. I was going to... but you have to pay for content that is in the public domain. :evil: Wait until you find out that even the people who make those documents available online have to pay for hosting them. I know,...
by DanD
Mon Oct 29, 2018 6:31 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2065: "Who Sends the First Text?"
Replies: 24
Views: 2860

Re: 2065: "Who Sends the First Text?"

Also integrating other communications mediums. I often switch from a messenger or even e-mail to text when I shift from planning to coordination on the day of. And sometimes I go from receiving a phone call to texting, if I expect the individual to be busy. Or vice versa, if the texted question invi...
by DanD
Wed Oct 24, 2018 6:17 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2061: "Tectonics Game"
Replies: 69
Views: 9859

Re: 2061: "Tectonics Game"

Radioactives: First step. Define the periodic table by numeric count. (Hydrogen, 1 of particle 1, 1 of particle 3. Helium 2 of particle 1, 2 of particle 2, 2 of particle 3, etc. Make the particles visually distinct, although the exact symbology doesn't matter. I'd probably go with +, - and x for cla...
by DanD
Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:07 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2059: "Modified Bayes' Theorem"
Replies: 20
Views: 2940

Re: 2059: "Modified Bayes' Theorem"

It's intuitively obvious (and therefore almost certainly incorrect!) that the set of possible events has a larger cardinality than the reals * . In a finite universe, with finite total energy, and finite granularity, the total number of ways of distributing that energy in the form of a finite numbe...
by DanD
Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:53 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2059: "Modified Bayes' Theorem"
Replies: 20
Views: 2940

Re: 2059: "Modified Bayes' Theorem"

It's intuitively obvious (and therefore almost certainly incorrect!) that the set of possible events has a larger cardinality than the reals * . In a finite universe, with finite total energy, and finite granularity, the total number of ways of distributing that energy in the form of a finite numbe...
by DanD
Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:02 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2057: "Internal Monologues"
Replies: 48
Views: 5138

Re: 2057: "Internal Monologues"

This is sometimes due to "value engineering" or poor decisions after the drawing leaves the architect's hands (although yes, sometimes it is the architect). Most of the time when I've seen that sort of thing happen, it's due to client-side or construction-side decisions from people who ca...
by DanD
Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:39 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2050: "6/6 Time"
Replies: 73
Views: 6891

Re: 2050: "6/6 Time"

orthogon wrote:ETA: I just tried realised how it's strange that you Leftpondians call them "quarter notes" but you call the fraction "one fourth".


We use both, I'd say. And not in any particularly organized or systemic fashion.
by DanD
Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:17 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2042: "Rolle's Theorem"
Replies: 86
Views: 10482

Re: 2042: "Rolle's Theorem"

erejnion wrote:So Randall just has to pay several people to start citing something as "Munroe's theorem". Maybe high-profile professors, so that there's a higher chance for adoption.


He already has an effect. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaped_charge#Munroe
by DanD
Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:40 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2035: "Dark Matter Candidates"
Replies: 55
Views: 7063

Re: 2035: "Dark Matter Candidates"

But you don't need to defeat thermodynamics. After all, you have a ton of energy for refrigeration and such. No, you don't, unless you're letting the energy out through a gradient to make it do work. Highly efficient mirror over the majority of wavelengths on the interior surface. This essentially ...
by DanD
Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:54 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2035: "Dark Matter Candidates"
Replies: 55
Views: 7063

Re: 2035: "Dark Matter Candidates"

Dyson spheres would emit black body radiation of the average temperature of themselves and their contents, and so glow detectably and not be dark. So we think. Anyone advanced enough to actually build a Dyson Sphere though might have technology that effectively "cloaks" them if you can de...
by DanD
Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:27 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2033: "Repair or Replace"
Replies: 36
Views: 5054

Re: 2033: "Repair or Replace"

I don't think he's talking about retail usage. In large scale data centers, it's very rare that anyone would repair a computer. The standard approach is to simply pop in a new one and reload from backup/RAID.
by DanD
Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:50 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2027: "Lightning Distance"
Replies: 44
Views: 5239

Re: 2027: "Lightning Distance"

Ohm y God. Okay, fine. Let's amp up the puns. Current puns? Mmmm... Another thing everybody knows about lightning is that it doesn't strike twice in the same place. So that helps a bit by telling you where it isn't . (Actually I think we're back to the nonblack nonravens, aren't we?) Between the &q...
by DanD
Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:12 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2026: Heat Index
Replies: 30
Views: 3525

Re: 2026: Heat Index

Considering the whole point of the weather report is to know how to prepare for the day, this makes it rather significant. And it's easier to understand when they say it's above freezing but feels like way below than if they just say what the temperature is and then two minutes later they tell you ...
by DanD
Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:35 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2014: "JWST Delays"
Replies: 21
Views: 3476

Re: 2014: "JWST Delays"

Sandman81 wrote:Completion of George RR Martin's Winds of Winter would take a similar trajectory.


No, that's a step wise function. Every time a fan asks him when it's going to be out, he pushes it off a week. Expected release is in 2451 at present.
by DanD
Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:11 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2023: "Y-Axis"
Replies: 24
Views: 4777

Re: 2023: "Y-Axis"

I could actually see the semi-semi log graph, adequately labeled, as being useful for some things, where you're tracking something that's exponential over time, but you need more detail in the present. Of course, you could also just add a second graph.
by DanD
Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:28 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"
Replies: 80
Views: 7901

Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Yes, the idea that in the US the price on the shelf isn't what you pay is still really weird to me. If you don't have much money on you, it must be hard to work out if you have enough. I think when this has come up before, the reason has been that there are a few different levels (county, state, fe...
by DanD
Mon May 14, 2018 2:28 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1990: "Driving Cars"
Replies: 86
Views: 10366

Re: 1990: "Driving Cars"

Having vehicles on the same road going significantly different speeds is a really bad idea. Everything is about relative speeds. Your low slung car going 120, hitting a tractor-trailer going 60 is not meaningfully different from your low slung car hitting a brick wall at 60. The fact that slower dr...
by DanD
Tue May 08, 2018 7:12 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1990: "Driving Cars"
Replies: 86
Views: 10366

Re: 1990: "Driving Cars"

We could also raise many road speeds to quite significant numbers. Most any road could be raised at least 5mph from where they are if we switched to automated drivers. Those limits aren't because of limits of the vehicles: It's the people that are the problem. It's also possible to take the vehicle...
by DanD
Tue May 08, 2018 5:28 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1990: "Driving Cars"
Replies: 86
Views: 10366

Re: 1990: "Driving Cars"

Some thoughts: Do ultralights still not require a license (and thus age)? The first death in my high school class (@16) died this way... Pierre Currie died in a horse carriage accident. Presumably these were not unknown. Then there was chariot racing that was presumably entertainment similar to gla...
by DanD
Tue May 08, 2018 3:57 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1990: "Driving Cars"
Replies: 86
Views: 10366

Re: 1990: "Driving Cars"

I do suspect that if at the time cars were first invented everybody knew how many injuries and fatalities they would cause, they'd never have been allowed. Somehow it all came upon everybody slowly enough that it's considered acceptable risk to drive now, and of course cars have been getting safer ...
by DanD
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:45 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1986: "River Border"
Replies: 69
Views: 10690

Re: 1986: River Border

The Potomac river is the border of Maryland and Virginia, with the curious property that the entire river is part of Maryland. As far as I know, the only real difference is that you could have a building on the Virginia shore that sold VA lottery tickets, and also have a cash register on a floating...
by DanD
Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:45 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1978: "Congressional Testimony"
Replies: 21
Views: 4772

Re: 1978: "Congressional Testimony"

If what you're not getting is the title text: In our timeline, there was no Terminator 3 by James Cameron. There was a Terminator 3, but it was directed by Jonathan Mastow. The title text is insinuating that in the original timeline, James Cameron did direct Terminator 3, but it was so prophetic (a...
by DanD
Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:11 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1971: "Personal Data"
Replies: 82
Views: 12543

Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

64% of occupied dwellings are occupied by an owner. That's not the same thing. If you have a better estimate, then I'd be happy to hear it and will start to use that number instead. If you don't have a better estimate then I'd be very interested to hear how you feel this fact contributes in any way...
by DanD
Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:57 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1972: "Autogyros"
Replies: 30
Views: 5750

Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Mikeski wrote:This is why I had to go into electrical engineering. Y'all mechanical engineers just can't keep yourselves from breaking the rules. Like Newton's Third.


As opposed to electrical, where the first thing you learn is that everything is backwards, and it gets more confusing from there. :wink:
by DanD
Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:19 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1971: "Personal Data"
Replies: 82
Views: 12543

Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

"If stocks go up, should I leave more money in my mailbox or less?" Depend. Do you own any stocks? Fun fact: the economic term 'stocks' comes from the biological term 'stocks'. People would take a stock of wood and cut markings around it to represent a debt. The more cuts, the more money ...
by DanD
Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:11 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1964: "Spatial Orientation"
Replies: 77
Views: 11357

Re: 1964: "Spatial Orientation"

There's a highway that runs through my hometown from the ocean to the mountains, and also over the mountains. I once long got lost on a foggy moonless night on the other side of the mountains on that highway, and figured one of two things would soon happen if I continued driving along it: I would e...
by DanD
Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:07 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1964: "Spatial Orientation"
Replies: 77
Views: 11357

Re: 1964: "Spatial Orientation"

When someone asks me for directions the first thing I assess is whether I should use "turn left" or "turn north" (or whatever direction). [...] Compass directions are less ambiguous, so that's how I prefer to give directions. As long as you start with a travel direction, i.e. &q...
by DanD
Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:02 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1964: "Spatial Orientation"
Replies: 77
Views: 11357

Re: 1964: "Spatial Orientation"

Considering that roads around here usually don't go in the direction they say they do (ie "west" on a certain highway might in fact be more north or south), and that I don't have a compass unless I wanted to rely on my cell phone (in which case I would be using GPS anyway), compass direct...
by DanD
Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:55 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1958: "Self-Driving Issues"
Replies: 147
Views: 24044

Re: 1958: "Self-Driving Issues"

]...and this information is not very interesting. I have no problems with AI doing this, and even sharing it to make them drive better. But they also pick up the other patterns around them... which car tends to be in front of which house at what times... who is crossing the road (and later, down th...
by DanD
Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:01 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1958: "Self-Driving Issues"
Replies: 147
Views: 24044

Re: 1958: "Self-Driving Issues"

What gets me is... ...None of these 'what ifs' do humans handle safely. Handwritten signs? Most should stop. Do Humans? An AI would. Bad lane markings. You probably should stop. An AI would. Do humans? Bad direction in a construction zone. You're supposed to stop. An AI would. So why do we care if ...
by DanD
Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:05 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1952: "Backpack Decisions"
Replies: 38
Views: 7879

Re: 1952: "Backpack Decisions"

I'd say this is a logical conseuquence of the relative weighting of irrelevant factors. With a car or a computer, most people go in with a decent idea of the make and model they want. Or at least have a couple of major factors that will sharply limit their choices (carrying capacity, fuel economy, c...
by DanD
Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:21 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1950: "Chicken Pox and Name Statistics"
Replies: 56
Views: 7894

Re: 1950: "Chicken Pox and Name Statistics"

Proof that if all children were called Logan, chickenpox would be eliminated from the globe. I wonder if we can do the same for Malaria, and what the optimum name would be? More funding for research! Malaria is more difficult, because it has a fairly widespread environmental reservoir, and isn't de...
by DanD
Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:08 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1950: "Chicken Pox and Name Statistics"
Replies: 56
Views: 7894

Re: 1950: "Chicken Pox and Name Statistics"

speising wrote:but vampires still have teeth, even rather prominent ones.


But they aren't required to grind food. And could be replaced by claw or proboscis.
by DanD
Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:55 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1950: "Chicken Pox and Name Statistics"
Replies: 56
Views: 7894

Re: 1950: "Chicken Pox and Name Statistics"

Evolution had to find a way to grind up food. The choices were teeth, bony plates (similar to teeth), or gizzards. I think it would be weirder if we had gizzards. External digestion, as in starfish or spiders. Slow digestion of intact food, as in snakes. External grinding, as in flour (yeah, I don'...
by DanD
Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:21 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1948: "Campaign Fundraising Emails"
Replies: 34
Views: 6067

Re: 1948: "Campaign Fundraising Emails"

pkcommando wrote:Only a quitter stops when the election is over. Are you a quitter? .


In a lot of cases, campaigns actually end up in debt. And it's easier to say "we'll continue to fight" than to say "Welp, we lost, help us pay for it anyway".
by DanD
Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:35 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1945:"Scientific Paper Graph Quality"
Replies: 21
Views: 4658

Re: 1945:"Scientific Paper Graph Quality"

Reka wrote:I don't get where MSPaint enters into this: surely anyone who's using Powerpoint would have Excel available to them, and would use Excel to generate the charts?


You're assuming A)competence. And B) actual data.

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